I write sonnets to hold myself together.

Month: June, 2015

Annals of the Afroasiatic Pioneers, Vol 2, #57

Context — As brief as East African linguistic history can get.


Swahili as a language came about
when local Bantu language family
put sprinkled nouns from Arabic throughout
its lexicon. They fit uncannily
by making simply one new class of nouns
for ported words. It matched in syntax and
in structure what the Bantu spoke. Scale down
the breadth of words a speaker need command
to few, with fewer synonyms–voila!
A language meant for trade, and quick to learn
emerged. And thus those following Allah
could come and talk and trade, go and return.
Their commerce spread the language nationwide,
cohesive grout that unified the tribes.

Annals of the Afroasiatic Pioneers, Vol 2, #50

Context — Yep, I am here remembering the glee: // iambic rhyming social comment’ry. Rapid progress.


Their luggage cinched upon the no-rack roof,
in plaid two-handed plastic bags well known.
For prevalence in region was clear proof
that cheapest way to transport stuff was clone
the one-use bag, then double thickness, and
add zipper strong enough to hold in roots.
That morning, as was typical, the land’s
tremendous produce sat in sacks, the shoots
extending out of twine-rope ties and zips.
The women riding prior to dawn had reaped
what sat in sack to sell. Their roles eclipsed
descriptions statisticians tried to keep
of what is formal work for GDP
and what is household informality.

Annals of the Afroasiatic Pioneers, Vol 2, #31

Context — Further evidence that Volume 2 is being written. I’m finally getting back into production mode.

Young Abu’s brain plasticity was high
and matched by dread and drive from family’s chat
about today and futures it implied.
He’d seen hand-lettered poster, dirtied matte
hung low beside headmaster’s broken door
so kids could read it. There would be reward
from China’s embassy for s/he who scored
the highest on the test: they’d be offshored
and sent to Middle Kingdom on exchange,
overtly building business ties between
the countries. They were wise to prearrange
such opportunity to make serene
their future interactions. Abu’d rest
not once until exams showed him the best.

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